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Meeting News

Well Spring has sprung!! I think I have used that tired phrase before. Usually I have to scratch my head to come up with.something to say in this column. This time is different, read on.

Rolf Miller the treasurer has resigned effective June 1, 2000. I am looking for someone to take over this position. There is not a lot of work involved just very good bookkeeping. The busiest time. cf the year is from November to February when most members renew their membership. The person would open a bank account in their name and mine. Usually banks won't accept checks made out to the group as we are not incorporated. If you are interested or want to nominate someone please contact me.

Jean Nance has also resigned as of mid May. I am looking for someone to take over the job of finding editors for the upcoming year. The job asks that the person find an editor and send them the file for the heading for the newsletter, the file containing the Cfficers and the policy page. The managing editor also gives help to the editor when. needed. A more detailed job description will be sent to anyone who is interested in the position.

I would prefer the volunteers to have E-mail access but it is not necessary. It just makes the transfer of information so much faster. I will not turn anyone down because they do not have E-mail but it would be to everyone's advantage to have this feature.

If you would like to volunteer for either one of these positions please contact me aS soon as possible. If you know of someone who is interested please as them to contact me. My address, telephone number and E-mail address are: |

Tom Adams

4427 39th Street Brentwood, MD 20722-1022 (301) 927-8826 . tomadams@smart.net

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MEETING 64/128 USERS THROUGH THE MAIL —- OFFICERS TOM ADAMS. President. BRIAN VAUGHAN, oe, 4427 39th St. 2i0l Shoreline Dr. Brentwood, MD 20722-1022. 352, Alameda, CA 94501-6245. Group business and Membership Membership Addresses and Bicqraphies Printing and Distribution of MaiLink Corrections and Chanqes Ph. (301) 927-8826. email tomadams@smart.net. RICHARD J. SAVOY. Editor 200 West Street #9 FRANCIS REDMOND. Vice-president. Ware, MA 01062-9783 Rt 7, Box 7614 Editor "MaiLink on Disk" Palestine, TX 75801. JOSEPH F. FENN ROLF L. MILLER, Treasurer. 3612 Puuku Makai Drive 492 Anacapa St. Honolulu, HI 96818. Ventura, CA 93001. E-Mail Addresses and Changes Dues and Donations. (Checks to the trust account must LINDA J. TANNER. be made out to Rolf L. Miller). RR1, Box 120T Black, MO 63625-9702. JEAN NANCE. MaiLink Managing Editor Information" 1109 Briarciiff Dr. Volunteers for "Resources". Urbana, IL 61801. TREASURER 'S REPORT From: Rolf L. Miller, Treasurer Following is a summary of the trust account as of March 31, 2000. ww Balance The Credits include all dues and donations 1-31-00 $2470.03 1-1-00 $2606.03 received during the period. The Debits are Credits 333.00 947.00 all the expenditures during the period, the Debits 629.06 979 .06 largest part of which is the cost of 3-31-00 2173.97 3-31-00 2173.97 printing and mailing the MaiLink and Bic pages. COMMODORE MAILINK POLICIES The Commodore MaiLink is published every other month by Meeting 64/128 Users Through the Mail. Copyright 1999 by Meeting 64/128 Users Through the Mail. Ali rights reserved. Permission given to reprint material if credit is given to "Meeting 64/128 Users Through the Mail." The names "Meeting 64/126 Users Through the Mail" and "The Commodore MaiLink”" are also copyrighted. Any and all opinions expressed in this publication are the views of the authors and in no way necessarily reflect the viewpoints, attitudes, or policies of Meeting 64/128 Users group uniess so stated or indicated. Neither Commodore MaiLink nor Meeting 64/128 Users Through the Mail advocates or condones the piracy of copyrighted software. All programs published are with the permission of the author or are, to the best of our knowledge, in the public domain. Software offered for sale is said by the seller to be either public domain or, if commercial, is the original disk with the original documentation. All manuscripts, or any material for review or publication should be sent to the editor of the next issue (see "Editor's Desk"). Commodore MaiLink reserves the right to edit submissions. aa Go

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FROM THE EDITORS DESK -- Paul Berry

To produce this issue I used a C=128 in 80 column mode, an 1802A monitor two 1581 and one 1571 disk drives numbered 8, 9 and 10 respectively and my printer was a dot matrix Star NX-1040 Rainbow using a black (reinked) ribbon.

Most of the material submitted for this issue, came in on 5.25” disks in TWS format. Some came as text in email messages and some came as written pages. Since there is no shell account available in the this area I used a PC to receive the email and converted the text as MSDOS ASCII files to PetASCII files using the Big Blue Reader. As most of.you know, The Write otuff handles PetASCII files very easily. That is one of the reasons I prefer, and use, TWS. Where graphics (FGM clip art) appear, I used the Illustrator II version of TWS to fit them into the text.

As the material arrived, I processed it as necessary, made a printout and saved it to a work disk as TWS documents. Producing the final copies was then just a matter of assembling the documents into the MaiLink page format.

I want to say a large THANK YOU to all who submitted material for this issue. Without such material, editors would be hard pressed to fill up an issue of MaiLink. The interests of our membership is quite varied as this issue attests, and the amount of materiai is evidence of our members interest in Commodore computing. Later in this issue there are references to surveys of Commodore usage, and while the number of 8-bitters appears to be decreasing, we are none-the-less very active.

I want to repeat Jean Nance's appeal to members to volunteer to be an editor. It is not difficult and frankly, I find it quite enjoyable. It offers me the opportunity to communicate with many of you that otherwise might just be a name on the membership list.

wk k & The EDITOR FOR THE JULY ISSUE will be David O Mohr.

He can accept, and would prefer, GeoWrite documents.

He can accept GeoWrite documents as attachments to email provided they are in Wraptor V3 or Convert 2.2, 2.5 or 3.1 format.

He can accept text as an email message.

He can accept material on a disk as a PetASCII sequential text.

He can accept material on either 5.25" or 3.5" disks.

Members can log onto his BBS 503-325-2905 and UL a file if they wish.

His mailing address is: <Sensei> David O. Mohr A.C.U.G. #447 623 29th Street Astoria, Oregon 97103

His email address is: ronin@pacifier.com

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COMMODORE MAILINK MAY 2000

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14 Years of Meeting 64/128 Users Through the Mail

Gary Noakes

in the May 1986 issue of Compute!'s Gazette, the User Group listing for the first time included "The 64 User Group of America", with Kirby Herazy listed as the founder and president. The members of the group (all 35 of them!) corresponded with each other through the mail, but there were no regular group mailings, no newsletter and no dues. In 1987, the group's name was chandeto "Meeting 64/1268 Users Through the Mail", and Jean Nance became the president. A membership list was started, containing a brief biography of each member,along with their Commodore system components and their computing interests. Later that year,a bi-monthly newsletter was started with the simple, if bland, name of Newsletter, with Jean Nance as the editor. Most of the articles were (and still are) written by the group members themselves, with occasional items of special interest reprinted from outside sources. There were still no dues required for membership in the group, so donations from the members themselves covered the cost of printing and mailing Newsletter. After three issues were published, a contest was held to give the newsletter a more interesting name, and from the suggestions submitted by the group The Commodore MaiLink was the standout winner. In 1988 with membership numbers and publishing costs climbing, annual dues of $5.00 were instituted.

With Commodore users being such a, umm, thrifty bunch, the membership numbers dropped precipitously. but with good word-of-mouth and a steady place in the Commodore user group listings in the popular Commodore magazines, the group membership soon began climbing steadily. It reached a peak of more than 300 in the early 90s. And as the membership grew. so did the membership bic list, the size of The Commodore MaiLink itself, the cost of the postage required and ,of necessity, the membership dues, to $9, then $10, then $12 (for U.S. members), where it remains today. "Meeting 64/128 Users Through the Mail” has always been a non-profit organization and it relies solely on membership dues and the occasional member donation to continue publication.

In 1994, the combined office of Group President/MaiLink Editor was (deservedly) split into two distinct offices. Frank Redmond became the new president,with Jean Nance keeping the "The Commodore MaiLink'" editor-in-chief position. In 1996 Frank stepped down and Tom Adams became the new group president, with Frank assuming the vice- president's position. Longtime members Brian Vaughan and Rolf Miller maintain the membership records and the group treasury, respectively.

Today, Meeting 64/128 Users Through the Mail has about 165 members. The Commodore MaiLink averages 18-20 pages for each issue and is published regularly six times a year (the odd-numbered months). Each issue is edited by a volunteer from the group; the articles, still with only a few exceptions, are written and submitted for publication by members of the group.

OQur membership includes users in the United States, Canada, Greece, France and Australia. Some of our members are or have been contributors to such publications as RUN, Compute's Gazette, Loadstar, Loadstar Letter and Commodore World: others are active contributors to the COMP .SYS.CBM and ALT.C64 newsgroups. All of our members love

Commodore computing. 4

COMMODORE MAILINK MAY 2000

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oe A SURVEY OF THE MEMBERSHIP by Rolf Miller

The stated purpose of the Membership List (AKA the Bio's) is to provide the basis for individual members to communicate with one another. This makes the Membership List the heart of the group. After ali, the group is about Meeting 64/128 Users Through The Mail.

Individual communication, though, is not the life blood of the group. Rather, what nourishes all the members is the bi-monthly newsletter of the group: the Commodore MaiLink. The proof of that is seen in the notations accompanying renewal checks. "MaiLink dues” is the most common memo.

The vitality of the group, therefore, depends upon the MaiLink coming from its heart. While the common thread connecting all members is Commodore use, there is a broad range of interests. The contents of the MaiLink, then, must reflect the interests of all its members lest they starve. This requires editors cf the MaiLink to strive for well-rounded issues.

Needless to say, members can greatly assist the editors in their task by writing articles about how they accomplish things with their Commodores. Indeed, according to the March 2000 Membership List, no fewer than 5% of the members are engaged in or express an interest in any given computer activity. This means that whatever you are doing with your Commodore, others are doing or interested about learning.

Browsing through the information provided by the Membership List reveals the following.

x Half the membership is on line. This is known because they include an e-mail address with their information. The domain name in those addresses tell something else: 50% of the internet users do soa with a platform other than Commodore. Yet, the inventory of computer equipment shows heavy commitments to Commodore use.

Those who use or express interest in GEOS constitute a third of the group. And a good number of these GEOS users indicate that it is their primary operating system, citing Wheels, Post Script printing,

-SUCu ;

Well over 50% mention word processing as an activity. This includes the 15% who specify desk-top publishing and most GEOS users.

Nearly 20% of the membership declare an interest in programming, including BASIC, machine, and other languages.

A similar number express interest in playing games, strategy varieties outnumbering the arcade type.

Other aspects of computing mentioned include music, involvement with genealogy programs, graphic manipulation, data base management, spreadsheets, hardware projects, HAM radio applications, ad infinitum.

a i a a a a a. a. ae 3

LET'S WELCOME A NEW MEMBER

| RALPH AMBROSE, 4 B St. Trailer Square, Plant City, FL 33566-2916

cr Ralph is retired. Hobbies: Stamp collecting, and travel. System: C-64, | 15941 disk drive. MPS-802 & Star NX-1000C printers, and a Zenith ZVM- 121 monitor. Interests: Telecommunications, E-mail,

(ambraja@aol.com).

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COMMODORE MAILINK MAY 2000

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A RESPONSE TO TOM ADAM'S SUGGESTION Fram Kager Hoyer

In the March Mailink Tom Adams wondered if there is a way that someone could act as a central clearing house for all Commodore equipment. While that seems like a monumental undertaking for a Single individual, it wouldn't be so hard if a number of clubs throughout the country started @ program such as our Cincinnati Commodore Computer Club did in the fall of 1996.

As Publicity Director, my name, address and phone number are used as the official contact for our club. In the fall of 1996 we started getting phone calls from people who had downgraded to a Windoze machine and wondered if anyone in our club would be interested in buying their "stuff". We developed a standard answer- "most of our members have several backup computers and disk drives. However, if you would like to contribute your items to the club, we will determine their value in today’s dollars and send you a letter giving you the total worth, That way you can deduct the amount from your income tax". If they didn't want to do that immediately, we invited them to bring their items to a club meeting and attempt to sell it. We also told them of our annual Swap Meet in October when they would also be welcome to bring their items for sale at no charge for space. We also give them an idea of what they can expect to get for their items.

Well, the response started as a trickle and gradually built up to & steady influx of items throughout 1997. Since it was my idea. guess who the club decided should keep track of it??? Fortunately for our club, our Vice-president has a nice polé barn on his property that allows us to store all the hardware. He's also our resident repair tech and has a shop in his barn. The rest of the items are stored in my basement (much to my wife's chagrin). It's a good thing 1 retired in December of 1996, because it turned into almost a full time job to catalog all the donations, create the separate files, copy the disks and send letters to the donors.

We also donate hardware to people who can't afford to buy a computer, but would like to learn. We have a standing invitation in all our meeting notices that we will donate computers to schools and home schoolers. We are currently in contact with an inner city church about loaning them computers. In the past three years we have donated a dozen systems to a local school system which had them for about size months before the parent's association got enough money together to buy that OTHER brand. We have donated systems to three home schoolers and a couple who came to our meetings from out of state. One requirement we stipulate to our donees is that 1f they should get another computer, we get the Commodores back.

Most of the cartons we use are ones my wife and I accumulate at home. She's a Tupperware manager and I do custom picture framing, so between the two of us there is usually a carton suitable for shipping. Most of them we knock down for storage. We use egg cartons, styrofoam "peanuts", picture frame dust cover trimmings, whatever commercial bubble pack we accumulate and newspaper for packing. The club has had to purchase only a few cartons so far. I have sizes and prices from Staples, Office Max and Organized Living. If I see we will need to buy a carton, we tell the buyer and include it in the shipping charge.

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COMMODORE MAILINK ‘MAY: 2000 -

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Over the time period we have been doing this I have recorded the weight of hardware by itself, in it's original carton (when possible) and in cartons we have collected to use for shipping. This way. when we get an order we can tell the buyer how much it will weigh and determine the shipping cost.

We use the USPS because the UPS agents close to me add their own charge to the UPS charge and are therefor more expensive. UPS pick-up is either non-existent because of the small number to ship or is

exhorbitant because we don't ship on a regular basis. I have obtained & USPS Official Zone Chart (which tells me which zone to use for shipping from my Zip code) and their Mailers Companion Special Rates Issue so that we can tell buyers how much postage will be on their order. Software and printed matter can be shipped using the Book Rate, which is much cheaper than Parcel Post and is the same cost no matter how far it is shipped.

The donations have slowed down in the last eight months or so. We used to get about one a month, and I would create a new set of files each month. Now they come in about once every three months. We got three at March's meeting. We have also received some Amiga items.

The last donation of Amiga stuff was big enough that I will now create & separate set of files for it and delete the current items from our regular 8-bit lists.

We now have over 1250 software items, 380 hardware items, 300 accessory items, 150 books. 400 manuals and 4 magazines. Magazines don't stay around very long - as soon as people see there 18s a long

ist of magazines, they are bought. The software file 1s now so big that no Commodore word processor can call the entire file into memory. That's why there are two sequential file readers on the disk we send, the file is read and not retained in memory.

We advertise our items in the Mailink, LOADSTAR's Starboard, on the internet at comp.sys.cbm and on our web site - www.geocities.com/siliconvalley/grid/641z2. Most of our sales are generated from the internet and we have shipped items all over the continental United States, Canada, Finland, to a soldier in Germany via an APO Box and Australia.

When we started this program in the fall of 1996 , our club's treasury was down to a mere $200.00 and we were seriously discussing whether to continue to finance a monthly newsletter that was costing about $50.00 each month to produce, or to cut it to a bi-monthly or quarterly publication. Since we started selling the items, we don't have that worry any more and our treasury is very healthy!

Getting back to what I originally started to say (FINALLY!), if a number of clubs scattered across the country could figure out how they could do what we're doing, then the shipping costs to get stuff to then wouldn't be so costly and all us Commodore diehards could benefit from it.

If anyone wants more information about how to set up a program like this or copies of my weights and carton measure lists just give me a holler! My phone number is 513/248-0025.

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still more Heavenly Hash from Ed Hariler (Being mainly comments on the March issue of "MaiLink")

Tom Adams wrote about a clearing house for C= equipment. Perhaps it would be better to have a coordinator, since there are already several clearing houses. Some have been listed in past issues of “MaiLink”. Since many do not want to ship large items, the coordinator could perform a valuable service by keeping track of how close a buyer is to the seller of desired large items.

In the March issue on page i2 Rolf Miller wrote: "...a lot of members think a great deal of The Write Stuff (TWS) word processor." And why not? It is easy to learn and use, and has features that many word processors on other platforms still do not have. One feature of TWS which I really miss is the Note (or non-printing). Sometimes I update a disk file for a Family History Sheet from the notes I've made on the printed sheet, but I do not reprint the page(s). (Why print new pages when the information will soon be changed thru additions and/or corrections you've requested?) By adding a note to the disk file I know what IT update and when. If I should print the page by mistake (oops, wrong Harler family), all is not lost. I will have an updated sheet, but the note will not appear.

TWS allows the easy creation of accented letters. There is probably a way to do that in 4@ non-C= word processors, but so far [I haven't found the method. Which brings up the fact that most C= programs come with a manual, while Wintel programs do not: that information must be purchased separately for another $20-50! (On-line help isn't all that great.)

Sse far I have not encountered the TWS bugs/anomalies mention in the March issue. The only quirk I've encountered occurs during two-column printing. If the first column contains an imbedded command (italics, etc.}, then graphical characters will print in the second column. This usually causes the line to exceed the right-hand margin and print on the next line in the first column's space. Not only does the page look messy, but the words are garbled and the page's spacing slipshod.

I wrote a BASIC program which displays a blinking cursor immediately after a letter typed. So far I have not figured out how to do the same thing in QBASIC. There are also other BASIC things which are easily done on the C= but require more programming in order to do the same thing in MS-DOS. Try doing a simple calculation on-screen! And in MS-DOS it's impossible to move the cursor to a previous screen line. Oh, if C= only had the sales pitch of an IBM or Microsoft.

A word of caution comes to mind after reading Rolf's article on transferring files between different platforms. Don't do it wholesale as I did! Make a note of which disks have been transferred to the new format or put them in a special place so you know that you've complete your work with them. Try to do the transfers in groups (i.e., all addresses, letters, etc.). Definitely label all of the new disks, if it's only with the general category.

8

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COMMODORE MAILINK MAY 2000

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I enjoyed reading the "Discussion About Printers." Somehow reading the information in print and at one sitting made a much different impression. I'd love to take Rolf's suggestion to go soak my printer's head, but I can't remove the rascal. (Bring on

the samari sword!) My Friday Morning Computer Buddy gave me a Panasonic KX-P1123, which (unlike Joe Fenn's printer) works only in DOS. Strangely enough the Panasonic KX-P2023 worked in both DOS and Windows, but I had to go to special pains to get the C= to print in the type face I wanted.

Dick Estel has a good point: "...communication is the bottom line." How to do something on a C= can be described in print, verbally. via e-mail or Morse code. The computer used to generate the words really has nothing to do with the description. Where graphics are concerned, however, a C= should be used in order to show the result which will be gotten. Using "Page Plus" (or another non-C= program) for graphics (other than for decoration) would certainly not be helpful.

C= mentioned in the text on the back of the 1980s series computer stamp. It is also on the backup sheet.

shortly after computers appeared in the market place, talk of the paperless office emerged, but never materialized. Now there are rumblings of paperless correspondence. There are several things that can't be sent via e-mail (e.g., collectibles), but anything that can be scanned is fair game. Knowing that, I feel certain that there's a C= programmer out there somewhere working on a better Commodore- | useable scanner.

Store files in plain ASCII on 3.5" disks then they can be used immediately or after a single move from 5.25" disks or another word

processor.

Many of us use e-mail ona daily basis and we're able to communicate with more of our friends as they also get e-mail. This is one of the reasons that Internet traffic is estimated to be doubling in just under 13 weeks. Back in 1969 there were only four (4) Web hosts: and 30 years later there are over 43 millicn. More amazing is that in 1998 there were an estimated 829 million Web pages. The estimate for 2002 is 7.7 billion pages. I sure hope someone comes up with a very efficient and fast search engine in the next two years, because no one has the time to scan all of those pages.

Statistics make good reading and add to your store of trivia. It took the telephone 38 years to be a fixture in 30% of U.S. households, but it only took TV 17 years to reach the same 30%. The PC hit the mark in just 13 years. And the Web? Well, it made it in less than seven, however, in another three years (2003) it is estimated that the Web will be accessible to at least 50% of all U.S. households.

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THE ABACUS & COMMODORE

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COMMODORE MAILINK MAY 2000

by Rolf L. Miller

The abacus is arguably the oldest counting device in the world.

Yet, in spite

preferred by not a few.

of its antiquity, the abacus is still used, indeed, its reputation even inspired a software

company that produced many very good Commodore programs to chose the

name ABACUS.

A full-s rods. The co column rod ho cross bar.

and each top bead represents five. towards the cross bar.

ize abacus consists of a frame containing thirteen column lumns represent one's, ten's, hundrec's, and so on. Each lds five bottom beads and two top beads, separated by a

Each bottom bead represents one within its column's value

A bead is counted by moving it Thus, the abacus is clear (zero) when all the

beads are away from the cross bar.

OONBO0000000000 OOSCOV90000000

DOO0O9000N0000 OOO0000000000 OOGOOTOCGONON00O COSTOOV0000000 OCO090O090000000

Counting placed on the the rightmost next column 1 shows Sz.

OCO09000 0000008 COVSGOOV200O OO

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OO00000GO0000 COO0GO00000000 O000000000000 OVO90000000000 OOSOOS00 00000

The simp In fact, skil what 1S possi 90 was added key presses:

Further accomplished. key presses, in the ten's column to sub

begins from the right, as usuai. So, the number two is abacus by moving two bottom beads up to the cross bar in column. Fifty 1s added by moving one top bead in the eft (5 teen's) down to the cross bar. The abacus now

le way abacus works allows for very rapid manipulation. led users can produce results on an abacus quicker than ble on any keypad device. Think about the example where by sliding one bead. To add 50 with keys requires four the + key, 3. 0, and the = key. speed comes from the way various calculations are

For instance, whereas adding 8 to the 52 requires three the abacus user with a single motion pushes one bead up column to add i0 while moving two beads down in the one's tract 2 (52 + 10 - 2 is the same as 52 + 8).

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By the way, just as spelicheckers can be used to catch miskeyed letters, the abacus can be used to guard against erroneous numeric input. Because values are placed on an abacus ina different way, it's not likely that an error in keying numbers will be duplicated in sliding the beads. Therefore, if the results of a series of entries accomplished on both the keypad and abacus agree, odds are the work is error-free.

Things do not endure just because they work. Rather, they endure because using them is uncomplicated. As seen, the abacus fits that description. So does the Commodore, and that no doubt explains the response given by a Commodore user to an unprintable remark ridiculing his use of a "relic."

"If a thing is no longer useful just because it is old," he posed, "why is the abacus still around?"

In the world of computers, there is nothing easier to use than a Commodore. Nor are there any with less problems. And while it can be argued that its lack of complexity limits what it can do, it, like the abacus, does what it does very well. Indeed, no small number continue to use their Commodores because what these very functional machines do accomplish encompasses most, if not all, of what they do with a

computer.

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BASIC KNOELEDGE: Screen Tricks by Gary Noakes

Basic programmers are forever being told, if you need speed, you need to learn machine language. But one of the first things that budding ML programmers are told is to learn to use the built-in ROM routines wherever possible. This leaves the Basic programmer to wonder-—-WHAT ROM routines?

eaSte on any computer can be made more efficient by tapping into the bul n power of the ROMs. This 1s sometimes referred to as

aa uaaecd. Ge "machine-specific" programming because it utilizes the PEEK, POKE and SYS (or CALL) commands built into the Basic language, but the addresses following these commands are unique to each computer. While this limits the portability of Basic code between computers (a C-64 machine-specific program won't run on a native mode C-128, for example), it optimizes the program for the targeted computer. Some of the machine specific routines are as simple as a Single SYS, others require setting up or must be used in conjunction with other routines. This power enables Basic programmers to achieve greater speeds or even perform feats that are impossible with traditional, transportable Basic.

The programming examples presented here are C-64 specific. All of the routines are fully explained so that you can knowledgeably import them into your own programs. This should make them easy for all but the most novice programmer to use. Each line of code has been kept short so that the examples can be more easily understood. This slows down execution time somewhat but the learning aspect takes

precedence.

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COMMODORE MAILINK MAY 2000

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Type in Screen Trick 1.1 and run it. It's a loop that pokes a reversed space to every screen location in each of the sixteen = colors:

10 rem:screen trick 1.1:f1ili with poke 20 a=1024:b=2023:c=160:0=55296-4

30 printchrs (147)

40 ford=0to15:fori=atob

90 pokeoti,d:pokel.c

60 next:next |

This is one of the most time-intensive programs in Basic. Even though all literal numbers are converted to variables to make it as fast as possible, this routine still takes 120 seconds to complete. Now type in and run Screen Trick 1.2:

10 rem:screéen trick 1.2:fast fill 20 a=1024:b=1063:c=160:0=55296-a

30 hi=int(a/256) :lo=aand255

40 printchrs (147)

90 ford=0tol5

60 fori=atob: pokeot+ti,d:pokei,c:next 7G fori=l1to24

8G poke7&1,i:poke782,0:sys58636

90 poke780,hi:pokel72, lo:sys59848 100 next:next

Although it takes more code to set it up, the end result is ey essentially the same as Screen Trick 1.1 but takes only 20 seconds to complete!

While most of Screen Trick 1.2 1s generic Basic, some of it may be unfamiliar. Line 30 contains the calculations to figure the high byte (hi) and low byte (lo) of address 1024 (a). Lines 80 and 90 contain routines that tap directly into the Kernal ROM and require some explanation.

The screen consists of a grid of 1000 locations (0-999). The rows (lines) are numbered 0-24, the columns are numbered 0-39. Locations 781 and 782 are the .X and .Y registers, respectively. Poking these locations is the same as LDX and LDY in ML. The PLOT (or PRINT AT) routine in line 70 uses these locations to position the cursor. This means that the cursor can be placed anywhere on the screen and your text printed with the syntax:

poke781, (Row) :poke782, (Column) :sys58636:print”"Text"

Location 58634 is the documented Read/Set Cursor entry point. By poking the X/Y values ourselves, we can bypass STX and STY (SToreX ane SToreY, the first two bytes of Read/Set Cursor) and then jump directly into the routine where needed.

Line 90 pokes the high byte of the screen address into location 780 (equivalent to LDA, Load Accumulator) and the low byte into location 172 {the work pointer for the Screen Scroll routine) then calls the Move Screen Line at location 59848 to take 40 bytes from the indicated ae screen position and copy it to the current cursor position.

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Move Screen Line is used by the operating system (05) whenever lines are scrolled on the screen (such as when listing 4a program). By using Plot to control the cursor position and Move Screen Line together, the screen fills ina fraction of the time it takes norma! Basic

As a complement to Move Screen Line, type in and run Screen Trick

Foot —~ 6 oo ~~ e

10 rem:screen trick 1.3:fast fill & clr 20 a=1024:b=1063:c=160:0=55296-a

30 hi=int(a/256) :lo=aand255

42 printchrs (147) :poke782,0

90 ford=O0told

60 fori=atob:pokeoti,d:pokei,c:next 70 fori=l1to24

80 poke781,1:sys58636

90 poke780,hi:pokel72,1lo:sys59848 100 next

110 fori=24to0step-i1

120 poke781,1i:sys59903:next

130 next

Notice the last statement in line 40--since the value in 782 will remain constant throughout the operation. we can move it out cf the loop. Location 58636 in line 80 references the value in 782, using one less operation and further speeding up loop execution time.

The Clear Screen Line routine in line 120 clears the entire line columns 0-39) at the position indicated by Plot. Now try Screen Trick .4

10 rem:screen trick 1.4:fast fill & hlfelr 290 a=1024:b=1063:c=160:0=55296-a

30 hi=int(a/256) :lo=aandZ5o

40 printchr$ (147) :poke782,19

20 ford=Ctol5

60 fori=atob:pokeoti,d:pokei,c:next

7QO fori=l1to2z4

80 poke781,1i1:sys58636

90 poke7&0,hi:pokei72,lo:sys59848

100 next

110 fori=24to0step-1

i120 poke781,i1:poke782,19:sys59905:next 130 next

By poking a new value (19) into 782 in line 40 (again, keeping it cout of the loop) and then jumping into the Clear Screen Line routine at address 59905, the row is now cleared ONLY from column O to the value in 782. Although these examples use a loop to clear the screen, either can be used to clear any number of full or partial lines.

When printing characters to the fortieth screen column, the cursor ‘wraps around" at the end of the display, switching from 40-column screen (display) lines to 80-column logical